Originally posted March 8, 2009:
The State of the Forum, as of this writing, is poor. In the past few months this Web site has seen an increase in spam postings and a decrease in substantive postings. It has also seen a decrease in enrollment rates. We seem to have lost two moderators: lexmarks567 and Perham.
These circumstances tend to be cyclical, however, as this forum goes through active and stagnant periods. And our two missing moderators will hopefully return soon.
Computer Forum’z has, on the other hand, excellent search engine rankings. If you type computer forums into Google, this forum lists in the first 10 results. And if you perform the same search at Yahoo, we are usually displayed again within the first 10 results.
Spam is defined as any writing or link that financially benefits (directly or indirectly) the individual authoring the post via commercial business ventures.
Simply recommending a product or service at a commercial Web site does not constitute spam. For example, if I were to recommend that you purchase the MSI Wind Netbook from newegg.com, since I gain nothing from such a transaction this is not considered spam.
We do not allow spam on this forum for two very important reasons. First, spam is annoying. It wastes the time and effort of members who read the spam posting.
The second reason may be less obvious. This Web site partially funds itself by the advertising that runs on many of its pages. It would be foolish of the administrator to allow anyone to advertise here without collecting a fee. So free advertising (spam) is strictly forbidden.
There is a special section of this site marked “Stuff for Sale”. This section is reserved for private individuals who wish to sell their used computer equipment. Think of this as a geek garage sale.
There are currently three automated members posting regularly to the forum. John, pete, and Luxor have been averaging about two posts per day each.
I personally don’t like the Bots. However, they do have special permission to post here by the administrator and owner, maverick.
My objection to the Bots has nothing to do with the content of their postings. In fact, the articles linked to through the Bot postings contain good, solid information. My objection stems from the fact that they defeat the purpose of the forum, which is to engage in a discussion about the topic presented for consideration. You cannot talk to a Bot!
Look at the number of Bot postings that have a received a response. The vast majority of them have generated zero responses. They do have a significant number of viewings, but little or no replies.
I do not believe that the Bots should be banned. Instead I have added a disclaimer to the Bot postings as a courtesy to new members who may not be aware of the nature of these articles. This, at least to me, seems like a fair solution.
To all members (old and new):
Thank you for composing excellent, meaningful content for this Web site. Computer Forum’z wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you.
Keep writing. Create new postings and add your insight to old postings. Remember, to someone visiting this forum for the first time every posting is a new posting. And if you have something significant to add to a two-year-old posting, please do not hesitate. Web surfers around the world may just be searching for the information you have provided.
And finally I would like to thank maverick, our host and benefactor, for personally sacrificing much to keep this Web site open.
God bless you all!
Comments and suggestions are not only welcomed they are encouraged.
Updated March 22, 2009
On Sunday, September 20, 2009 this Web site went down for quite a few hours. The problem seems to have been a server issue. Another Web site, Voshy, which is housed on the same server was also down. I use Voshy to test whether this forum is having problems or the server is having problems.
But what if this Web site suddenly vanished forever?
A lot of people would be disappointed, but it would have served its purpose. A forum is only as good as the information it contains. Useless information, like dead links or out-of-date material, serves no purpose. The main goal of a forum is to provide meaningful information.
Ten years ago I was posting under this name at a forum called Red Neck ‘Puters. One day, out of the blue, it disappeared. But that’s okay, because it served its purpose at the time it existed.
We are not here to build immortal monuments to ourselves. Ten years from now, no one is going to give a flip what we said here on these electronic pages. We serve the here-and-now. And tomorrow, if it should all be gone, then we did our jobs and we served our fellow computer users to the best of our ability.
We made someone’s life a little easier, a little better, and even a little nicer with a friendly word, helpful advice, and an expressive emoticon. That’s why I do this. I don’t do it for money or glory. No one knows who I really am, because I’m not important. Hopeful, what I write is significant to someone somewhere.
We are not here to create historical documents that will speak to generation yet unborn. We are here to help. We may not always succeed. We may even fail. But we will know in our hearts that we tried. That’s reward enough.